Illustration Class Update Part 2

For this assignment, we were asked to create a portrait illustration of a 1960’s person and an object that goes with the person in some way. I chose Rachel Carson. She was a biologist who wrote about DDT and its affect on wildlife in her book “Silent Spring”. My first attempt combined both the object and a portrait of her (left) and in my second attempt (right two) I created little “icons” that could work in a website or as a favicon. All were created using Illustrator.

Graphic Design Donation to PADS. – Helping Kenyan Girls Go to School

Since it is summer and class is out, I’ve been itching to do some graphic design. A good college friend of mine, Megan Greulich, contacted me about helping her set up a domain name and WordPress site for a fundraising project she had in mind. Since all the proceeds of her project go straight to the cause, and she was putting her own money into the website, I thought it was the perfect time to donate some design.

Charity Kroeker, Megan’s co-worker and founder of the idea, came across AFRIpads after visiting a town in Kenya. She noticed that girls were not attending school, or even in some cases dropping out, simply because they did not have adequate feminine products. In order to make a direct difference in the town she visited, she started PADS. – Perfect Attendance Dignity Squad – to raise money for the 1,315 female students to have the feminine products they need for a whole year. All the raised donations will go straight to the town through AFRIpads.

Under a very tight deadline, I worked on three posters, cleaned up the logo and put together the graphics for the WordPress site.

Take a look! And donate! It only takes $6.50 to help 1 Kenyan girl for a full year!

Have a good summer!
-Shalanah Dawson

New for 2011-2012 – Youtube

Just yesterday, I purchased a screen capture software – iShowU HD – for my Graphic Design and Digital Photography classes next year. I have created two YouTube videos that will be used for students to follow if they are absent or need a refresher on the project or tools. I’m enjoying it so far! More videos to come as the summer continues 🙂 .

– Shalanah Backus

Awesome Projects for Graphic Design Class

I came across this site while I was designing my Commercial Art Course (soon to be called Graphic Design). Great projects for Photoshop and Illustrator. I have yet to try out the “Smiley Face” project, but I might have some of my advanced students try it. Below are two examples from this project. Cool huh?

Mr. Moriarty’s Computer Graphic Page
Smiley Face Illustrator Project

– Shalanah Backus

Photoshop Converts Cake

ctrl-z Shalanah Backus Student Cake

Commercial Art is perhaps my favorite class to teach. Students learn about Photoshop, design and Illustrator. It could not be more fun. I also was blessed in having a great group of students, who became huge fans of the computer programs we were using. It was one of their birthdays and another classmate created this AWESOME cake with “Ctrl – Z” on it. It is the “undo” button on Photoshop, Illustrator and many other programs. Love it.

-Shalanah Backus

Up and Running! Commercial Art Student Gallery


Graphic design and commercial art are some of my favorite subjects to teach and mediums to work in. Take a look at some of the artwork my students are creating! The gallery is up and running! More work will appear as the trimester continues so check back again!

-Shalanah Backus

Commercial Art Website


I’m happy to announce that I’ve created a website for my Commercial Art class at Waconia High School. This is the first year I’m trying to go all online with the class projects, galleries and calendar. Check it out! It is being updated weekly and sometime this week I’ll be putting up student work galleries!

-Shalanah Backus

Artist/Art Historian Website


I had the pleasure of creating Dr. Wayne Roosa’s artist/art historian website. His website reflects these dual hats of artist and art historian including books, publications and art essays, as well as, images and statements about his art. I am also definitely a proud owner of one of his “Idea of Order” (specifically No. XI) prints. Check it out!

-Shalanah Backus